KwaZulu-Natal Social Development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza has called for justice after a Pietermaritzburg social worker, Sithembile Vilakazi, was gunned down in front of her family.
“It is unthinkable that anyone would consider taking the life of a social worker, a person who is in the front-line of the fight against gender-based violence and femicide in our communities.
“The heartless attackers shot dead an innocent woman in full view of her children,” said Khoza on Thursday.
Vilakazi (34) was brutally murdered in an allegedly orchestrated attack last week.
She had just opened the gate to her home after returning from work when an unknown attacker emerged and shot her several times, killing her instantly.
Vilakazi was a social worker stationed at Vulindlela Service Office for 10 years and dedicated her life to serving the most needy communities.
Khoza said Vilakazi was still trying to come into terms with the murder of her husband, Sibusiso Vilakazi, who was also employed in the same service office as a social auxiliary worker. He was also murdered at Elandskop area in October 2021.
Khoza said it was most disturbing that her murderers did not even think of the children who were now orphans.
“These are fresh and painful incidents for our employees to be killed like this one after another. What is also more traumatic is that the masterminds behind their killings are yet to be brought to justice,” she said.
Khoza conveyed her condolences to the Vilakazi family, her colleagues, friends and the social work fraternity as a whole.
“The killing of a social worker robs the entire community of this province as these officials are tasked with critical responsibilities to save the lives of vulnerable persons.
“In our society we have people who have lost their moral fibre and will not think twice about attacking and killing the most vulnerable,” she added.
Khoza said as police had launched a massive manhunt for people responsible for the killing of a social worker, community members should also play their role in helping the law enforcement authorities to catch the criminals involved.